Handy advice for a successful spring cleaning

March 30, 2016

After five months of chilling winds and swirling snow, there’s nothing quite like spring cleaning to wash away the last traces of winter. Here’s some advice to help your home sparkle.

Handy advice for a successful spring cleaning

Everyone knows April showers bring May flowers. All that rain washes away the dirt and grime of winter, reminding us that it’s a good time to start our own spring cleaning.

Where to begin

Whether you live in a one-bedroom rental or a three-bedroom house, when it comes to spring cleaning there is always a long to-do checklist. So what’s the best way to proceed? Have a three-step plan:

1. Pick a room to start
The kitchen is a good place, beginning with the appliances. You could, for example, start with cleaning out baked-on grime in your oven.

2. Make a to-do list
Try to think outside the box and identify places that are often neglected, but still attract a fair amount of dirt, dust and grime.

3. Get your tools together
Before you begin spring cleaning, gather together the tools of the trade — your cleansers. But first do some research to figure out which type you'll want to use.

Traditional cleaning products
Certain common household cleaning products should never be mixed.

  • Doing so can be dangerous and their misuse may produce toxic fumes or caustic liquids that can irritate eyes and lungs.
  • By reading directions carefully and taking the necessary precautions, it’s possible to safely use cleaning products.

Homemade chemical-free products
Some DIY people prefer to go green when cleaning.

Store-bought eco-friendly cleaners
If you’re not into mixing your own, there are eco-friendly cleaners on the market that are easier on the environment because they lack harsh abrasives and chemicals.

If you’re just too busy to do spring-cleaning, consider hiring a professional cleaning company, but not before you:

  • Check that they are properly trained and licensed.
  • Ask which cleaning products they will use.
  • Talk to people whose homes they have already cleaned.

Now that everything is in order and you’re ready to make a clean sweep, it's time to start at the top of your list...

Cleaning curtains: a breeze

Once your windows sparkle, you’ll want the curtains or blinds to be dust-free as well.

  • Taking care of curtains can be as easy as tossing them into the washing machine or occasionally sending them to the dry cleaners.
  • Blinds are a different story because they need a thorough cleaning once a year.
  • To further complicate things, cleaning window blinds is difficult because each type – including wood, vinyl, laminated, or honeycomb – must be washed differently.

Scrubbing window screens

Finally, to really let the fresh spring and summer air into your home, you’ll need to clean your window screens. For best results:

  • Work on a flat surface.
  • Number the screens so you put them back correctly.
  • Use a cleaning solution of one part ammonia and 30 ml (2 tbsp.) each of dishwashing liquid and borax. Allow it to soak for several minutes.
  •  Let the screens dry after cleaning.
  •  Fix any holes in the screen you might find.

Rugs, carpets and other dust catchers

With windows closed all winter, feet traipsing back and forth and pets lounging on sofas, it’s easy for dust, dirt, dander, smoke and other odours to get ground into surfaces.

  • To help clean your carpet and area rugs, bring back their lustre, and keep them fresh-smelling, you’ll be surprised at what everything from a tennis racket to baby powder can achieve.
  • For removing stubborn carpet stains like blood, chewing gum and dry paint, some scrubbing and the right technique can help make them look like new.

Periodically, carpets need a deeper, more thorough wash that only steam cleaning can provide.

  • The high pressure of a steam cleaner spray is great at dislodging deep-set dirt, and vacuuming up the solution almost immediately.
  • Although you could rent a steam cleaner, or hire professionals to do the job, another option is to buy a carpet cleaner  if you’re keen to DIY.

Dusting off the lampshades

After you’re done cleaning what’s under your feet, take a close look at the lampshades.

  • Whether it’s a glass or cloth shade, lightly dirty or seriously soiled, remember to unplug the lamp, remove the shade and bulb before cleaning lamps.
  • Generally, a microfiber cloth for dusting the shade and occasionally polishing the base will suffice.

Don’t forget your home’s exterior

Winter can also be harsh on the exterior of your home. To really give it the TLC it deserves, it’s important to clean the outside of your home to remove:

Finally, to really add to your home’s curb appeal and spring spruce-up, clean the exterior awnings and shutters.

  • They may not need much work – a bit of cleaning and some repair – but paying some attention to them will help them last longer.

Spring-cleaning may feel a bit overwhelming at first, but if you approach it with a plan, and work one area at a time, you’ll be amazed at how quickly it gets done. Your home will be fresh, clean and welcoming for the warm-weather months!

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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